I’ve taken to watching live feeds—cameras left
in nature, so we might catch a glimpse of a brown bear

and her two cubs tearing at a salmon that was alive
only seconds earlier—orcas nudging a calf to the surface

to take a breath—I didn’t see this, but I read somewhere
that an orca carried her dead calf for weeks to mourn it—

to witness that would have been the end of me. I hold
my breath with each dive the whales take, dorsal fins

dipping below the surface like trauma, only to reappear
much later, somewhere unexpected—there is a channel

inside me, growing limbs and organs and a face
that will one day look at me, furious, as I suck my teeth

after breakfast—today, though, we witness each exuberant
breach, broadcast from some distant outpost, a communion.


We swallow whole all things / we don’t know, a slow digestion / of the self.

What Animals Are Admitted To Paradise

Mountain goats have climbed their way hoof and tail apart to the tallest
peaks and leaped with lockets of an old man’s beard. They say the
goats that make the leap and survive, the ones that make it

across to land on the other cliff, get their shadows get turned into clouds.